Stuart Townsend is an Irish actor and director best known for his film roles as Lestat de Lioncourt in the 2002 adaptation of Anne Rice's Queen of the Damned and as Dorian Gray in the 2003 adaptation of Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
He also has a starring role as Jack McAllister, the quick-witted and charming in-house legal counsel for Karsten Allied, his father-in-law's company, in the television drama series Betrayal.
Townsend was born in Howth, County Dublin in 1972. Although his father, Peter Townsend was a professional golfer, Stuart was determined to be an actor and began his career by appearing in a number of student films, while attending the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin.
He supported himself by boxing until his first feature film debut in Trojan Eddie (1996). Although his part was small, Townsend attracted a London agent and began appearing in numerous stage and film productions in England and Ireland.
America began to take notice of Stuart's talents when he appeared in two films featured in the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, in one of which, About Adam, he took the title role.
Stuart was the original casting for the role of Aragorn in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. After four days of filming he was replaced by Viggo Mortenson after it was decided he was too young for the part.
He had a romantic relationship with Charlize Theron from 2002-2010 after meeting her on the set of 2002's Trapped. The couple appeared together in three movies: Trapped, Head in the Clouds (2004) and Æon Flux (2005).
He also starred in the conspiracy thriller action drama television series XIII, from 2011-2012.